Please understand we FULLY support paylake's that ONLY stock farm raised catfish.
Exposing Paylakes
The "Stocking" Truth Revealed

By: ExposingPaylakes | November 22, 2015

Some things just can't be covered in a simple one paragraph Facebook post. With that said, welcome to our first blog post.
Today, we're gonna cover something we've yet to cover. The influence trophy catfish paylakes have had on local fish markets.

"That commercial fisherman's catfish haul would have died at the fish market anyway. Our paylake saved them from that." 

That's something you might hear a paylake supporter say. An while there is some truth in that. It should be noted. Paylakes are the main reason for both commercial fishing and fish markets excessive demand for trophy catfish.


You see, thirty years ago fish markets mostly filled food orders. Commercial fisherman were asked to catch the needed fish. Trophy catfish normally didn't top that list. Therefore were typically discarded back into the water. Why waste time and space keeping something that likely won't sell.

Around that same time. Paylakes were a place to have fun catching a mess of eaters to take home. Therefore they primarily stocked farm raised eaters. Most stayed away from river catfish, especially the larger ones. As they were thought to be "dirty" in comparison to farm raised catfish. No paylake wanted to be labeled as having dirty eater fish.  So the demand for large catfish was relatively low. Whether it be paylakes, commercial fishers or fish markets. But that was all about to change.

PICTURED ABOVE: A fish house forgoes the lesser profit, for a more substantial profit of selling a large, live catfish to a local trophy paylake.

In the early to mid 90's, the paylake model began to change. "Trophy paylakes" started to emerge. These paylakes offered big catfish, and big cash pots for catching one. The public's demand also began to change. Instead of catching a mess of eaters. Patrons now wanted a chance to catch a once in a lifetime catfish, and win money doing so. Farm raised paylakes quickly became the exception, and trophy paylakes now became the norm.

PICTURED ABOVE: Commercial fisherman looking for holding ponds on Craigslist. The catfish will be seined out of the lake(s), as they are needed.

These large trophy catfish now being stocked at paylakes, were decades old. Fish farms couldn't produce such fish. Even if they could, the cost would be outrageous. So there was only one way to obtain them....the local river systems. In order to meet this new demand, paylakes hired commercial fishers to net these trophy river catfish. This new style paylake had now created a trophy catfish demand from commercial fishers, and subsequently the fish markets.

Previously, commercial fisherman discarded most of those large, unneeded trophy catfish. Though with the emergence of trophy paylakes, there is now no reason to do so. Commercial fisherman have a thriving market for those fish....paylakes. So much so, their willing to stockpile the fish in "holding ponds" to eventually be seined out, and sold as needed.

Now here's where the post comes full circle. Say your a commercial fisher and you don't have a holding pond. Or you don't have an immediate buyer for those large catfish. No problem, the fish markets have also gotten in on the trophy paylake money train. They'll gladly pay a discounted CASH price and take those live trophy river catfish off your hands. They'll stick them in holding tanks. What they can't sell to a paylake, they'll try and sell as food.

So next time you hear someone claim paylakes save trophy catfish from being sold at the fish market. Tell them that fish market demand wouldn't exist nearly like it does. If is wasn't for paylakes.

And guys, please practice CPR of these medium to large catfish.  State studies don't lie. People with a vested financial interest do lie, and stretch the truth. Exposing Paylakes has NO financial interest. Our interest solely lies in the in the protection and future of this awesome, God given resource. Nothing more!


Category: Exposing Paylakes Blog 



Terrance N. Amador

Posted on : December 28, 2018

thank you


Posted on : July 30, 2018

Nice content and full of information.

Anna Woodger

Posted on : December 06, 2017

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Jackie call

Posted on : July 21, 2016

Very good article just wish more people would think about this and
realize these fish don&#39;t grow this big over nite when u keep taking
20 and 30 year old fish won&#39;t be long and there won&#39;t be any
left then it&#39;s going be to late

Doug Parkison

Posted on : July 20, 2016

We can all say how much we hate paylakes and commercial fishing but
until we all stand together on a united front and play a more active
role in the fight against them then nothing will change

Richard knisley

Posted on : July 20, 2016

Good job on the article. What I don&#39;t understand is how someone can
get gratification by catching a big fish out of something like that.
There is no real sport involved. <br />
Part of the fun catching big fish should be finding them. And then
getting them to eat.

Russ Baker

Posted on : July 20, 2016

Some paylakers don&#39;t care its all about instant gratification the
easy way with no effort put forth. Also you gotto wonder how many grew
up paylaking for eaters and pushed the trend

Jimmy Haines

Posted on : May 01, 2016

there will always be a catfish funeral ever few mins cause of the deseas
they will catch and cause all the spots and lack of water cause of the
paylake being over population with wild cats

Scott Pangborn

Posted on : November 23, 2015

Very well put men. Sure wish Ky would see things as we do..

justin browning

Posted on : November 23, 2015

what i dont understand about guys that fish paylakes is the guys
fishing these places are standing there fishing seeing dead fish all
over the banks at times and are watching dudes go around in a golf cart
or a 4 wheeler and pick up dead fish every morning and they dont see a
problem with it and then call themselves sportsman

Dale Sides

Posted on : November 23, 2015

Not to mention these fish are a public resource .No different than going
to the Hoosier National Forest and cutting trees and selling them as
they are both public resources and both take years to reach that size ..

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